What's it about?

Freeform optics offer great flexibility in design parameters, but the subaperture techniques required for manufacture often result in mid-spatial frequency (MSF) errors that can impact final performance. These errors must be removed, but the options to do so, often requiring hand-smoothing by a skilled artisan, are costly and time-consuming. Optimax has developed the HERMES (High End Robotic MSF Elimination System) a robotic platform that uses a machine learning algorithm to smooth parts. Preliminary research indicated promising results, but the process had not yet been compared to the “gold standard” of human smoothing. Results indicate that HERMES fared well compared to smoothing results of a highly skilled artisan. Future directions for work are discussed.